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Interwar Years
The 1930s: Rebuilding the Royal Canadian Navy

Despite the severe financial climate of the Great Depression and political infighting, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) survived mainly as a coastal defence force. This period also saw the delivery of the first major warships designed and built for the RCN.

Engineer Captain Thomas C. Phillips

Thomas Phillips, seen here in his full-dress uniform, was a British-born naval engineer who worked on the designs of HMCS Skeena and HMCS Saguenay.

During the First World War, Phillips had been on loan from the Royal Navy as a temporary engineer lieutenant in HMCS Niobe and at Naval Service Headquarters in Ottawa, transferring to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in 1918. In this photograph, he carries the full-dress bicorn hat and wears a tailcoat with epaulettes, a belt and sword. Phillips's son Raymond would go on to serve with distinction in the RCN during and after the Second World War.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19840589-004